Emergency reliever Hisanori Takahashi excelled after John Maine left with an odd injury and Jose Reyes neatly produced from his new slot in the batting order. Yet it was the seventh-inning weirdness that made things really wild.
"It was chaos," Jones said.
The Mets led 3-2 and had runners on first and second with one out when Reyes lifted a high popup into the wind. The infield-fly rule was called, meaning Reyes was automatically out and the runners could advance at their own risk -- almost every time, they stay put.
Jones cut in front of shortstop Omar Infante and the ball glanced off the glove of the All-Star third baseman near the mound. The ball caromed to catcher Brian McCann, who saw Reyes standing at first base -- even though Reyes was out, players often lose track of tricky rules.
"I'm sure a lot of people don't know all of the rules. You can't know every one," said Pagan, who was the runner at second. "But we talked about this situation in spring training. I knew the batter was out, but I didn't know you could run. I'm glad I learned that."
Holding the ball, a confused McCann started to walk down the first base line.
"Mac thought the play was dead," Jones said.
Just to be sure, McCann flipped the ball to first baseman Eric Hinske, who tagged the bag and Reyes. Trying to cover all bases, so to speak.
While the Braves fiddled, Pagan alertly kept running and made a headfirst dive home to beat Hinske's return throw to Jones.
"I don't really know what happened after the drop," Jones said. "I saw Pagan break for home, but it was too late. Not one of our better efforts."
David Wright followed with an RBI single for a 5-2 lead.
Davis delivered a monster drive, making it 1-all in the fifth inning by homering far beyond the right-center field wall. His dad, former Yankees reliever Ron Davis, was in the crowd to see it, and the Mets retrieved the souvenir ball for him.
"It felt really good," Davis said. "I don't know if I've made a big impact or not, but the team is starting to play well."
Atlanta rookie Jason Heyward went 0 for 4 and struck out three times, including once with the bases loaded.
"I got to play against him in spring training and he's a man-child," Davis said. "He's huge. He's got all the tools. He's going to be a great player."
Normally a Mets nemesis, Jones hit an early RBI single a day before his 38th birthday. But he let a foul pop drop in the sixth for an error, then made that even bigger mistake in the seventh.
Takahashi (1-1) took over after Maine, a right-hander, left with two outs in the fourth with pain and a muscle spasm in his left elbow. The 35-year-old rookie from Japan struck out seven in three innings - along with his first major league win, he singled in his first big league at-bat.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he wasn't sure whether Maine would be able to make his next start. He missed three months last year with a tired pitching shoulder, and was forced to leave a start in 2008 with that unusual, opposite-elbow problem.
"Same thing," Maine said.
Rodriguez held on for his second save.
Reyes was moved into the third spot in the batting order for the first time and responded by hustling for a double and streaking for a triple.
- The Braves made four errors, their most since four against Washington on July 20, 2008.
- Wright has struck out in 10 straight games.